Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Life is a bowl of cherries

This little girls LOVES cherries. So does her mommy. Still, I'm kind of glad cherry season is over for now, because changing her diaper after her body finished processing cherries was pretty gross. The proof of her ravenously enjoying cherries is in the pudding.


What interests a person on a walk, from a little one's perspective

Towards the end of our stay at the apartment, I constantly took the girls on a walk outside, even to do short little errands, like check the mail. They were driving me crazy indoors. What I mean to say is that their little curious minds need more challenging and different stimulation.

I tried to bring my camera whenever possible. I'd like to say the camera is like a bodily appendage to me, but it's a bit cumbersome to haul with me everywhere. I am pleased with the shots I am able to take with them, so I won't settle for anything less (my phone takes shoddy pictures, in my opinion, plus I don't have the quick reflex of a SLR). On this occasion, we saw these lilies by our building in full bloom; gorgeous!


Victoria was busy figuring out the surroundings in which I had just placed her, among rocks (where Isabella delightfully picks, chooses, throws back rocks).

You have no idea how many photographs I took before I got this one: 346,756,725, 714 times. Forget getting smiles from the girls, I'm fortunate just to get them both looking towards my direction simultaneously without one complaining.

Dear, oh dear, when I was pregnant with Victoria, I spent so much time fretting how it would be possible to love another as much as I love Isabella. I mean, I loved Isabella SO MUCH. I believe I haven't loved Isabella any less since Victoria was born, but, some how, more love poured out of me when she was born. Here is my lovely firstborn, absorbing the wonders of her stroll.

When we neared the mail room, Isabella INSISTED I take a picture of this lily. She dug her heels in and wouldn't move until I took a picture of that flower. Here it is, dear Isabella.

Isabella had no idea she was posing for a photograph. She was simply examining this foreign object and finding it rather curious and interesting.

We certainly couldn't finish the walk without finding some worthy rocks.

Who's listening? Apparently more than meets the eye


Troy and I, this afternoon were busy telling Isabella that once she put the toys away in the living room, she could go downstairs and watch the "Elmo goes to the doctor" movie that we checked out from the library yesterday. While I was telling Isabella this in Chinese, apparently another little one was listening and was expecting a follow through. Of course I didn't realize what Victoria was so upset about until later. Tried feeding her, tried nursing her, put her in relatively recent enjoyment - "amusement park" ride (involves putting Victoria in a laundry basket and moving and twirling her about). Still mad as ever. After Isabella finished putting the toys away, we situated the girls downstairs and I put the library movie into the DVD, Victoria squealed in utter delight, at least twice, "movie" in Chinese. THAT'S what she wanted.

Oh geez. I often take for granted that she can say quite a bit for a 15 month old. There is still so much she can not say. What she can say has not caught up with what she understands or what she wants. The battle to communicate and get what she wants ensues.

On a seemingly random note, the picture I have for this post was taken July 1st. I have loads of picture updating to do. Sigh. Maybe one day we'll get there.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Forward facing, a whopping 15 months later

When Victoria was at her 12 month checkup, her pediatrician had no outstanding remarks about the visit. Two things stand out in my mind, he basically told us to give her whatever she wants to eat, ranging from avocados to peanut butter to eggs. Really? What about food allergies and stuff? To make a long story short, his professional opinion was that she could stand to gain some weight. He wasn't worried about her weight . . . yet. The other thing he said was that he was adamant that we not put her in a car seat forward facing until she is at least TWENTY pounds. I haven't weighed her in a long time and household scales are known not to be accurate for such little tots, but we decided to put her forward facing today. Dude, was Victoria EXCITED.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Victoria's 15 months old today


Little Victoria who is trying to keep up with her big sister turned 15 months old today. I'll try not to be a bragging mom about all her accomplishments. What am I saying? She makes us smile gleefully. One thing on which I shall focus? Her impressive language abilities. Seriously people, she's been showing these speaking abilities for at least three to four weeks or more. She knows that 't,' 'h,' and 'e' spell "the." She understands and can ask for various things in Chinese, including but not limited to "thank you," "mommy hold me," "milk," "goodbye," "hi," "older sister," "younger sister," "mommy," "daddy," "no," "alright." Dude, the list goes on and on.

She takes after me in taking her time to walk, though, just as Isabella did. Victoria has, for the last few weeks, taken a few steps without holding on to anything and without assistance, up to five to seven steps. She's got me beaten by a country mile. My parents say that I didn't start walking until I was two years old, and my dad is adamant that that was due entirely to choice, particularly caution. Though Victoria's cautious on the walking bit, nothing stops her from climbing on top of things a foot high, climbing stairs that include fifteen to twenty steps, getting in to the baby swing, or standing on the bouncer (little ones, don't try that at home; it's too dangerous). This is the same little girl, who before even learning to crawl proficiently, would stand in the pack 'n play, only a moment later fall backwards. On purpose. Yup, she sought the thrill of hearing her mom accidentally let out a laugh after I discovered she was doing the daredevil trick of falling back on purpose.

None of this is to say that I love Victoria more than Isabella. Each child is precious to me in her own right. I'll be singing sweet melodies on Isabella's birthday next month. Seeing the delight in my children makes my heart dance joyously.

The way to party, baby style

This afternoon, we joined a family at a park to celebrate our little friend, Violet's 2 year birthday. This little outing, my friends, was the most relaxing time I've had in ages. Life hasn't been the most relaxing cake-walk; don't get me started on why . . .

Anyways, here is little Violet, who has just blown out her candle, with her mommy, Sallina (my good friend here in town).

Some people think I am a stiff, for not letting my children indulge in things like: cake, juice, soda, candy, etc. Look, if you have problems with this, have your own children and you can have your own shot at parenthood. We lived in South Texas for a time, where even toddlers had silver linings around their teeth, because their parents didn't watch out for their well being. Candy & soda have no nutritional value whatsoever, and they seem to do much, much, much more harm than good. Juice isn't quite as bad, but it is still mostly sugar. Why give my children juice when they're fine consuming water and milk? They can benefit from the sweetness through eating fruit.

Anyhoo, here's Isabella enjoying a piece of Violet's birthday cake. Interesting tidbit, she didn't want to have anything to do with a popsicle Troy offered her (would have been her first taste of a popsicle), but she was very insistent and enthusiastic, to say the least, about the cake as soon as she set eyes on it. "The Cat in the Hat," one of her favs is to thank for that. Also, her Auntie Becky gave her a rather lovely teapot & teacup set that included pieces of "cake" on it.

Another but closer shot of the birthday girl. Tinkerbell came and painted the little ones' faces. Isabella didn't seem too interested in having her face painted, so we let her continue soaking in everything that was happening around her.

At Troy's utter insistence, Isabella had her first taste of juice. Yes, she is nearly three years old, and today she tried juice for the first time. Her reaction? She had several sips, but she didn't seem keen on it. Grandparents and anyone else helping to take care of our little tots, that does NOT give you permission to feed our children juice.

Isabella was being quite the good sport in sitting by Violet as she was opening presents without confiscating them. Lots of the presents Violet received, including a Melissa and Doug sandwich making kit that we gave her, looked especially interesting and curious to Isabella.

After eating cake and watching Violet open presents, it was time to enjoy the water portion of the park. My two children could have played there all day long, even though it wasn't especially hot today and the water was sending goosebumps all over their little bodies and making them very cold.

Very captivating to watch. Though Victoria was interested in the water that would spout sporatically out of different homes, she was equally fascinated by the sticks and leaves on the floor. What she was chewing on, I have no idea.

By the way? Victoria can walk a few steps on her own, but for the most part, at this time, she - like me as a toddler and like Isabella - has chose crawling as the preferred method of transportation. At first, I watched her pick up all kinds of unidentified objects, in a bit of horror, not knowing what they were or where they had been. But, seriously, I grew up touching everything, back before anti-bacterial, germo-phob stuff was popular, and I'm still alive, aren't I? So, I've decided that as a parent, I am not going to constantly stalk my children with anti-bacterial liquid in hand. Neither am I going to wipe down the shopping cart for germs every time I sit them down. Being exposed to germs can help them build their immunity, and that is my plan (neither are super young).

Troy was watching Isabella, and I Victoria. Would have been just as enjoyable to watch Isabella soak everything in. But, today, Victoria was my honor and glory to watch. Ever busy she was just taking everything in, feeling textures, seeing colors, looking all around her.

Fascinated to see how things worked and flowed, this one.

What made this such a superb day was us being able to spend time together as a family and seeing the girls have such a blast. Neither daughter wanted to leave, even though it was nearing dinner time and we hadn't brought anything for that.

Here we go, evidence of Victoria elephant-walking. I can understand why no person would want her knees rubbing against the pavement, but she's been practicing this with increasing frequency at home as well. Isabella did the elephant walk more often right before she showed more interest in walking with more consistency.